News & Events

Starting a new chapter at Euroa

August 1, 2018

Starting over isn’t always easy but, Stephen Hince, Currie Park’s youngest resident, is slowly finding his feet in OCAV’s Euroa village. He moved into Currie Park in February after living in Euroa for a while with his elderly father who died earlier this year.

Stephen’s father, Kenneth, had owned a local second-hand bookshop and many of the books, ones Stephen couldn’t part with, are now in his unit or packed up and waiting for a home.

“I was living in Euroa but didn’t even know Currie Park was around the corner until the newsagent told me about it,” Stephen said. “It was a good decision to move into Currie Park, but I haven’t fully settled yet. I still have thousands of books that I need to work out what to do with.”

One of the initiatives helping Stephen meet some of the ‘locals’ is the Winternet Café, a research program run by La Trobe University.

Stephen and several other residents from Currie Park and Rushall Park in North Fitzroy signed up to the Café research project, funded through the Australian Research Centre. The project is part of a collaboration with OCAV that has been established by La Trobe University’s Associate Professor Raelene Wilding and the University of Western Australia. It is aimed at improving online access and digital literacy for older Australians.

Residents from the two OCAV villages were invited to be a part of the exciting program after Professor Wilding attended the first Conversations for Change, and was impressed by the organisation’s progressive attitude to technology and positive ageing.

Professor Wilding said the Winternet Café was conceived after a recent report found that older Australians are only half as likely to use the Internet as younger Australians.

“We want to understand why older Australians use the Internet less, and explore whether using the Internet might help older people to keep in touch with family and friends, access information more easily or otherwise improve their lives,” she said.

Stephen is attending the eight-week program and enjoying meeting people and learning something new each time, and trouble-shooting technical problems with the advisor who is part of the project. While the information gathering is important for researchers, the opportunity to learn more is something Stephen relishes.

“There’s a session that will look at buying new equipment and the things that need to be considered before making a purchase. That sort of thing is helpful. I am also working on a how to use a program to flip words so that I can print things on tee shirts.”

Stephen is no longer in paid employment following a workplace injury, but his years of work in stage and theatre lighting contributed to his love of technology, he now also uses it to create presentations for parties and festivals.

While he is keen on technology and how it can be used, he admits to inheriting has father’s passion for books and love of reading. He certainly has plenty of books to choose from.

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